Inaugural Plaza 10K Race Report

Here I am right before Kyle and I headed out to the Inaugural Plaza 10K race at about 6:30am on Sunday, September 18th.  This race marked Kyle's 2nd 10K and my first.

Our neighbors came over to watch Eva while we were gone.  She was still asleep in her crib when we left.

The weather was not ideal.  The temps were in the upper 50s to low 60s and it was drizzling rain pretty much the entire time.  In fact, I believe there were about 1600 people registered for the race, but only about 800-900 actual participants.  I have run a race in cold, drizzling weather before, but I was pregnant and it was early spring, so it felt much colder and miserable than this race did.  I also think my new pink running hat helped me stay comfortable.

I thought I knew where the race start was, but once we got down to Kansas City's Country Club Plaza, we saw some mile marker signs that made us think it was somewhere else, so we ended up parking a ways away from the start/finish line.  We counted our walk to the start as our warm-up.  After I made it through the portapotty line for a last minute bathroom break, Kyle and I lined up towards the back of the pack.  Kyle admittedly had not trained very well for this race, so he planned to maintain and slow and steady pace.  His goal was merely to finish the race, hopefully without having to stop and walk. 

My goal was to run the 10K in under an hour.  I wanted to start the race with Kyle though, and I figured I'd get that first mile in with him nice and slow to help keep me from burning out too fast.  When the Garmin beeped at 1 mile, my time was just over 10 minutes.  I don't have my Garmin with me to upload the splits, but I remember the gist of it.  Kyle said he felt like he needed to slow down a bit, and I knew in order to make my goal, I needed to speed up, so we said our goodbyes and I peaced out. 



Mile 2 was a slow uphill, which was kind of tough especially when I expected a "flat and fast course."  Nonetheless, I hit the 2nd mile around 9:45.  Most of the course was relatively flat, especially after training in my hilly neighborhood pushing a jogging stroller for many of my runs.  For the next 3 miles, I managed splits between 9:15 and 9:45.  I still felt really good and knew I was going to finish the race strong, even if I didn't meet my sub one hour goal.  My 6th mile was about 8:45 and before I knew it, I was crossing the finish line.  My final time: 59.52. I did it!  Just barely :)



Once I finished, I went and got some water, and what had been a steady drizzle of rain started to become a downpour.  I went back to the finish line to watch Kyle come in.  He did great!  He finished the whole thing without walking!  He did end up with some unfortunate chafing due to running 6 miles in wet clothes, but he is over that now and he is inspired to put some more effort into training regularly to try to get faster. 

On the way home, we stopped to get some bagels and coffee for our awesome neighbors, since they came over at the crack of dawn to help us out with Eva.

Overall it was a good race and a great experience.  It would have been nice if the weather had been better, but I really like the 10K as a racing distance. 

I am not signed up for any races at this time, but I may look into a 5K or two this fall before winter sets in.

Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

We got a great deal on a season family pass to a local pumpkin patch on Groupon a couple of weeks ago, so we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday and we made a trip up there with Eva. 

Ready to go!

It's the Great Pumpkin, Eva LuCille!


The Pig Races

Look what I found!

First Hayride!

How tall are you this fall?

She really got excited when she saw this pile of pumpkins towards the end of our trip.

It was a great trip and a really beautiful day.  We didn't pick up any pumpkins this time around, but it is still pretty early in the season.  We plan to go back at least once more, on a cooler afternoon and we will definitely pick up some pumpkins for carving then. 

I did successfully run my 10K race over a week and ago, and just haven't gotten around to posting a blog about it.  I will though, so stay tuned for that update.

The 10 Miler That Wasn't

So my training plan for my upcoming 10K prescribed a 10 miler as my long run for this Sunday.  Last week, I knocked out an 8 mile long run on Sunday that was fantastic and I had every intention of doing the 10 miler this weekend. 

Of course, you see where this is going.

I was good about getting all my other runs in throughout the week and even ran an extra couple of miles since I opted to go for a quick run on what is normally a rest day.  It is so nice to have the time and just WANT to get out there for a run. 

As the weekend drew closer, I eventually decided that I would push my 10 miler to Monday instead of Sunday.  Kyle and I had some things we wanted to take care of on Sunday and nothing really planned for the Monday holiday, so it made sense to me to move the long run.  I still went out for a quick 3 miler on Sunday and figured I'd get the 10 miler done late morning on Monday.

But then Monday comes and there are some housework things I really wanted to finish up first, so I did those things.  Then Eva went down for an afternoon nap, but I wasn't sure how long she would sleep and I knew I'd be gone nearly 2 hours on a 10 miler, so I decided to read a little while she napped.  She slept for almost 2 hours!  I should have gone but I didn't.  Then we had to run to the store for a little bit and before I knew it, it was nearly 5pm and I had to take Eva out on any run I planned to do by then because Kyle was working in the yard and couldn't watch her. 

There is no way I was going to run 10 miles pushing that jogging stroller.  I love it, but I don't love it that much! 

So I loaded her up and went out on a 5 miler instead.  I feel good that I got out there and got another 5 miles under my belt, especially when I was pretty close to scrapping the whole running plan for the day.  I know the purpose of the 10 miler for this week and next is to help me reach my time goal for my 10k but I have a hard time believing that I really need to complete two 10 mile runs in the weeks before the race in order to run it in under an hour. 

So while I haven't completely ruled out the idea of running next week's training 10 miler, I am getting closer and closer to deciding that another 8 miler will be sufficient.

We shall see!

Running with the BOB

I love my BOB jogging stroller.  It really helps me stay on track with my running on those days when I have no one to watch Eva or if Kyle has something he needs to work on while I am out.   


Eva is making sure that my water bottle is full and ready to go.

Taking a break to get a drink and see how Eva is enjoying the ride.  Looks like things are good!

Reason #842 why I love the BOB.
I love that I can pretty much count on Eva falling asleep in the stroller, so I sometimes time my run to be when she needs a nap. 

It also helps keep me from feeling guilty for being out on a run instead of spending precious time with her.  Since I work, I can't help feeling like I am missing out when I choose to go out on a run, even if its only for 30 minutes.  Having the stroller lets me spend that time with her while doing something I love.  So, even though it was quite an expense, I feel like I am getting every penny out of my BOB. 

AT&T is the Worst

I have been dealing with AT&T for various billing problems on our home phone, Internet, and now cell phone since February of this year.  I don't know if you've heard, but they have terrible customer service.  It seems like no one there knows their head from their butt.  And their web site is useless.  You pretty much have to have a different login for every account you have with them.  I thought I would treat you to my most recent email exchange with them. 

Here is my first message to them after failing at accessing our most recent bill for home phone/cell phone online.  I am enrolled in paperless billing which was obviously a mistake in hindsight.

I am commenting on your company's poor customer service.  I made the mistake of switching our home phone and Internet to AT&T in February of this year and I have had nothing but problems ever since.  Either me or my husband have to call just about every month due to billing errors and general disorganization on your part.  I can never get the assistance I need online, and every phone call requires AT LEAST 20 minutes of waiting on hold before getting to speak to anyone.  If you want to actually do a better job of serving your customers, you need to rethink how you handle incoming calls and online account access.  There is no reason I should have to have 15 log in names and passwords to access all of my AT&T accounts.  I should not have to ask to speak with a manager every time I call.  If I can't remember one of the many log ins I need to check my bill online, then I should not have to call you and wait on hold just to get it resolved.  I am close to cancelling all of my AT&T accounts.

I sent that through their online message system because AT&T really doesn't want to talk to you or get emails from you, so they make it a test of strength and wills to get ahold of an actual person on the phone and they only give you 4"x6" text box to tell them about whatever issue you may be having online.  I pretty much just sent that as a virtual middle finger after dealing with their usual nonsense 3 days ago.

Then today (after being promised via email that someone would follow up with me in 24-48 hours mind you) I get an email from David.  I am sure David is a nice fellow and it is unfortunate that he works for such a crappy organization.  In fact, I will say this--everyone I have spoken with up there has been nice and polite.  They have been inept and useless, but at least they weren't rude while accomplishing nothing.  Here is what David has to say:

Thank you for your email regarding Account Manager.  I apologize for the inconvenience you have experienced.  I will be happy to assist you with your inquiry.

I reached your answering machine at XXXXXX and voicemail at XXXXXXX.  Please reply to this email and describe the problem that you are currently having with the online account for XXXXXXX.  We can investigate and troubleshoot.

We do not see a passcode on the account in our billing system.  For security purposes and protection of your private information, I need you to reply back with one of the following items before I can help:
- Customer Code (three-digit number that follows your area code and telephone number at the top of your phone bill)
- Amount of your last bill
- Amount of your last payment


Thank you for using AT&T.  We appreciate your business and continued loyalty.

Regards,

David
Your AT&T Customer Service Representative

Get even more help online.
Find troubleshooting tips, tutorials, product updates and more — visit our online support site, our online forums or find us on Facebook.

That's right folks.  In order to help me see my bill, David needs me to give him information FROM MY BILL! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! (That is maniacal laughter, FYI). 

Well, luckily, I know how much the bill was for because of the email notification I got 3 days ago, which prompted this whole thing, so I guess I do have that.  So here is my response:

David,

Based on the billing notification email I received a couple of days ago, the amount of my most recent bill is $304.31.  I wanted to actually see the details of this bill, which is what prompted me to attempt to login to my account. 

I am able to log in to my cell phone account, but of course, since it is now linked up with my home phone account, I can get no information there.  I do not know what the login is for my home phone account, although your online account access system indicates that I have created a login and password for it.  However, when I try to use the online tools provided to retrieve my login information, I am advised that my issue cannot be resolved online and am then directed to a sort of Q & A type troubleshooting page which does nothing at all to help me other than to eventually reroute me back to the page designed to assist those who do not know what their login information is.  Since I started there in the first place, I see that I am not going to be able to accomplish anything on your web site.

In frustration which is all too common when I deal with any aspect of my accounts and billing through AT&T, I call the customer service line.  The automated message indicates that I can request my most recent 3 bills on this account, so I go through the steps to receive the most recent bill only to be told that due to technical difficulties or system error or some other nonsense, my request could not be processed at this time.  Holding to speak to an actual person, the recording tells me, will take at least 10 minutes due to unusually high call volume (I might suggest you remove the word "unusually" from that outgoing message as it is an outright lie.  Waiting on hold when calling AT&T customer service ALWAYS entails a wait of at least 20 minutes.  Either no one is answering the phone or I am one of many customers having problems with your company.  I am inclined to believe the latter.)

Like most people, I have a job.  I have a family.  I do not have to time to spend dealing with the same problems from the same company every single month.  I don't have the time to deal with new problems either and frankly, even if I did have the time, why would I want to?

Let me tell you what I consider good service and perhaps you can pass this on to your management.  If I pay for a service, I expect my billing to be correct, every month.  I expect to receive my product as agreed upon, when agreed upon, and I expect, if there ever is an issue, I can actually talk to someone in a timely fashion to get it resolved.     

To be quite honest, the only reason AT&T still has my business is because it is difficult, if not impossible to find other companies that service my geographic area for high speed Internet and home phone.  I have had my cell phone with you for years, with few problems until recently but am researching my options for a new provider for that service as well. 

So, David, if you could be so kind as to send me a detailed copy of my most recent bill for $304.31 and take me off of paperless billing so that I do not have to deal with this problem again, I would appreciate it. 

Thank you in advance for your prompt and courteous attention to this matter.


I used to work in customer service for an insurance company, guys.  I know it's a hard job so I really do feel for these people who have to help me.  I try very hard to be nice to them---you know, the old flies, honey, vinegar thing.  But jeez.  I don't tolerate ridiculousness very well. 

 

The Importance of Hydration

We all know that water is a necessity to survive.  I believe I have heard that our bodies are made up of 75% water.  Not getting enough water can cause dehydration, which can be dangerous, especially if you are losing a lot of fluids through illness or sweat.  For a while, there was a recommendation to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day but recently I believe that it has been determined that there is no prescribed amount of water you should drink, as you do get hydration from food and drink that contains water.  The most important thing is to keep yourself hydrated enough to prevent thirst and to drink more water in situations where you are losing fluids. 

That said, I have never really been a big water drinker.  Growing up, the drink of choice in our household was iced tea.  You only drank water if you were hot and sweaty and super thirsty.  On special occasions, like holidays or birthdays, Mom might bring home some soda and that was a treat!  As a teenager, I drank more soft drinks because, well frankly because I could.  I had a job and could buy my own soda when at school or out to eat with friends.  I still only drank water when I was really thirsty after a workout.  As an adult, I began to phase out much of my soda drinking, and did replace it with water during meal times, but you know, I like to drink stuff that has flavor and well, water just doesn't have any!

It wasn't until I was pregnant that I realized the value of drinking a lot of water throughout the day.  My pregnancy spanned the summer months and I had been warned by my doctor and in pregnancy books that dehydration can cause early labor/premature birth.  So I dutifully drank glass after glass of water.  I brought a water bottle to work and filled it up repeatedly with water from a Brita pitcher in our break room fridge.  After Eva was born and I began breastfeeding, I was told to continue drinking large amounts of water because hydration was key to producing the right amount of milk.  The hospital gave me a handy water jug with a big plastic bendy straw, so I constantly kept it full of ice water and drank from it all day while on maternity leave. 

Now that I am back out there running on a regular basis, and have gotten into a really good habit of keeping myself well hydrated throughout the day, I must say I can tell a real difference in my running performance when I have had plenty of water versus when I haven't.  Some afternoons, when I am dragging just a bit after lunch, I may have a diet soda.  Drinking this cuts into my water drinking for the afternoon, so I may not get as much water that day.  Boy can I usually tell when I go out for my run in the evening.  It seems like I am more prone to side cramps, my legs feel heavier, and my whole body just feels sluggish. 

Now I know that part of this may have to do with the fact that some days are just better running days than others.  Not every run can be a good one.  But I am convinced that being properly hydrated really does play a big role in the quality of my running.  So even though I am not pregnant and I am barely nursing anymore, I am still making sure to keep up my water intake.  Certainly can't hurt!

Swimming!

With Eva taking swim lessons on Saturday mornings the past few weeks, we have been doing a lot of swimming on the weekends as time allows.  We usually get up and get her to swim lessons at 10:30 and then head to lunch afterwards. 
Eva and Dad at swim lessons

 Then we head to the local pool for a few hours.

Eva playing in the kiddie pool at the local city pool complex.
 This past weekend, we went down to the Lake of the Ozarks with some good friends and Eva got to try out her new float on which she promptly fell asleep.

Sleepy baby.
On Sunday we let Eva get into the lake for the first time. I think she enjoyed it.



Of course, that wore her (and her Dad) out also.

Shhhh. They are sleeping!
Eva really seems to enjoy the water and I am glad that we have her in swim classes because I think it makes her more comfortable when we go swimming. 

Intervals

Alright, so maybe I don't hate the treadmill quite that much.  Turns out I prefer doing my interval workouts on the 'mill because it is so much easier to pace myself for the right distances.  I think that the variety of intervals makes the time on the treadmill go by a bit faster. 

Since Kyle is also training for the 10K in September, he went out on a run last night after Eva went to bed and I went downstairs to churn out 3 x 800m with 400m jogs and 1 mile warm-up/cool down.  Even though I had full intent on getting back into some speedwork a couple of months ago, last night was my first bout of speed work since I became pregnant with Eva.  Nothing like a race looming in the future to give me focus. 

The workout went well and I was amused to find that the speed I was running during my "resting" intervals is the same speed I labored with maintaining way back in the winter when I was coming back to running post-pregnancy and training for the half marathon. 

I finally feel like I'm "back."  And I must say it feels good!

3 Miler and a Race on the Horizon

I am not going to complain about the heat, but I will state a fact about the heat.  Because it is unsafe to perform strenuous exercise in the temperatures that we have been experiencing in my area over the past couple of weeks, I have not been out to run as often as I would have had it not been consistently over 100 degrees with over 50% humidity every day.  There.  I hate winter, so I embrace the summer, heat index and all.

Regardless, I have been on a couple of 3 milers after Eva has gone to bed and I did a miserable 3.25 miles on the treadmill on Sunday.  I WILL complain about the treadmill because I hate running on it.  I like having one though because of the convenience.  I was planning to do a 4 miler Sunday but we were going to take Eva to get her pictures taken at JC Penney that afternoon and I was running out of time to finish my run and get showered and dressed, so I cut it short.  For your viewing pleasure here are a couple of pix of Eva from her photo shoot on Sunday.






That pink dress was mine when I was Eva's age and my Mom gave it to me at my baby shower last year with a portrait of me wearing it when I was around 6 months old.  I really like how the pictures turned out.  I know I am her mom but come on--how cute is she?

But I digress.  Yesterday, Kyle and I signed up for a 10K to be held in September and I am pretty psyched about it.  I have yet to run that distance in a race and I know I could finish it strong at my current fitness level.  So training for me is fun because I am just focusing on keeping in shape and trying to get a little faster.  Because of this, and because I am not having to run nearly as many miles per week as I was supposed to be when training for the half I did in April, I am enjoying the structure that my training plan is giving me for my workouts. 

I went on a 3 miler last night around 8 and even though it was still pretty warm and sticky out, I had a really, really good easy run.  I didn't take any music to listen to but I kind of just zoned out and gave some thought to some things that I have been wanting to mull over (nothing earth shattering or exciting, just stuff that's pertinent to things going on and things that need to be done).   Before I knew it, I was back home and drenched in sweat, feeling pretty good that I got out there. 

A Running Post!

Ha, I bet you thought I was going to start only posting about coupons and breastfeeding but alas, I surprise you with a post about running!

I have been running, even in this heat and I have been enjoying it so much!  I love my BOB jogging stroller like "Whoa" because sometimes I want to get out there when it's just Eva and I at home.  I love that I can bring her with me and she holds my water and sunscreen for me.  Well, the mesh pockets in her stroller hold them for me, but she's usually got her chubby little fingers all over both of them for most of the run, so its like she is helping. 

I went for a run on my own after she went to bed a couple of nights ago.  It was already 8:30 and I wanted to get home before dark, so I just did a quick 3 miler and averaged 10:27/miles which I find pretty respectable considering the humidity.  I chose to run my quick 3 mile out and back route and right around the 1.5 mile turn around point, I noticed an old van driving by.  The only reason I noticed it is because it had obviously had some repairs done as the fender on one side was a different color than the rest of the van.  Also, it had no windows in the back part of it and I always think "rape van" when I see a van with no windows. 

Anyway, I continued running along and about 7 minutes later, I saw the same van, pulling out from a side street and turning down the street that I was soon going to run on.  I run in residential neighborhoods as well as down the main streets of the older part of our small Kansas City suburb.  There is usually plenty of cars driving by and houses all along my route, so I am seldom concerned about running alone.  And really, there is nothing strange about someone driving down the main road, going into a residential neighborhood, and then coming back out of that neighborhood about 7 minutes later.  That's what one would do if they were picking someone up or dropping someone off at home. 

Nonetheless, seeing this particular van again raised my hackles and caused me to be extra vigilant to my surroundings as I eventually turned down the street that would lead me back to my house.  Of course, it was getting dark as the sun was setting but there was still plenty of daylight left to get me home.  I picked up my pace just a little bit anyway and kept my head "on a swivel" making sure that I made eye contact with any pedestrian I encountered and studied each vehicle driving down the street. 

I never saw the van again but the experience got me thinking about the things I do to try to keep myself safe when I am out running.  I have always made sure that Kyle knows all my routes and approximately how long I expect to be gone.  If I am listening to music, I make sure that the volume is low enough that I could hear an oncoming vehicle or a person talking to me and I never listen to music when I have Eva with me.  I never run after dark and if it is overcast or getting close to dark, I wear light colored clothing like white shirts and shorts.  If I am going on a long run, I sometimes take my cell phone with me in case there is a problem.  I always stop at intersections and give every vehicle around the right of way unless they come to a complete stop and wave me to proceed, which only happens about 50% of the time.  And of course, I make note of the people and vehicles that pass, paying attention to how often I encounter someone and whether or not the situation feels right.     

I have always done these things, but I feel even more pressure to make sure that I keep myself safe now that I have a child.  Does anyone else feel that way?  Are there any specific things you do to keep yourself safe when you go out on a run?  Have you ever had a scary moment or a close call?

Weaning Update

Eva is nearly 8.5 months old now and we are down to essentially one nursing session a day.  Since the pediatrician did not think that Eva was having a reaction to formula, we have been using the Target Up and Up brand of milk-based formula for several weeks and she seems to be doing well with it. 

While we still have some battles at mealtimes, for the most part Eva is eating anywhere from 1/2 to 1 full tub of pureed fruits or veggies at each meal.  At breakfast and lunch, we mix it with some oatmeal cereal.  When she's at home (as opposed to mealtimes at daycare) she gets a handful of Cheerios to finish off each meal and sometimes we give her a small amount of shredded cheese (but I think most of that ends up in her lap and on the floor). 

For a while, I was nursing before her bedtime and again first thing in the morning.  I decided to cut out the bedtime nursing and give her a bottle instead and that went over just fine.  She no longer has any problems taking a bottle from me or Kyle and it doesn't matter to her that its formula as opposed to breast milk.  I can tell my supply has drastically dropped and I wonder if she's even getting enough breast milk to constitute a meal during our morning nursing session. 

The main thing that has kept me from dropping that feeding and going to 100% formula is the convenience of it.  Eva usually wakes up anywhere from 4am to 6am everyday wanting to eat.  It makes sense to me to feed her then because by that time, it has literally been about 10 hours since her last feeding.  It is so much easier to go grab her out of her crib and bring her to our bed for her feeding, then we can both just drift right back off to sleep. 

This weekend, I tried giving her a bottle instead and I didn't like it.  I had even set out a premeasured portion of formula powder and put the 6 oz of water in her bottle and left it by my bed.  When I heard her crying out at about 5:45am, I got up and went into the bathroom to mix the formula and didn't get the collar screwed on correctly (because hey, I was half asleep) and when I went to shake the bottle, I threw formula around the bathroom.  By the time I got the bottle situation figured out and went to get Eva and brought her to bed to give her the bottle, I was 100% awake and Eva was displeased at the amount of time it took me to get in there and get her. 

So basically, I hope my supply hangs on for a little while longer because I am fine with keeping that early morning feeding going for a bit longer.

Even though I gradually eliminated pumping sessions and slowly cut back on feedings, I can tell my hormones are a bit out of whack at times.  Thankfully, I have been able to get out on some good runs lately, so I know that helps.  That and being mindful that this is just a fact of weaning and if I can keep perspective on things, everything will turn out just fine. 

All in all, I am impressed with myself as far as how long I was able to nurse.  My goal was 6 months and I surpassed that easily.  Especially remembering back at how hard it was to get the hang of nursing (it took about 6 weeks to get past the pain and latching problems) and the fact that I had no immediate family or close friends that had experience with breastfeeding to help me, I think I muddled through pretty nicely. 

7/10/11 CVS Trip

I got some great deals at CVS this week and this time I took pix! 

A couple of weeks ago I found out that you can preview next week's CVS ad online on the CVS web site, which is great for planning a weekly shopping trip to snag some deals.  There are a ton of people that coupon shop around my area and if you don't get there early, you will probably miss out as things sell out pretty quickly. 

CVS does do rain checks though, which helps, but if you have a coupon to use that will expire soon, that could be a problem.  So I like to review the ad on Friday or Saturday and make a list of the things we need that are on sale.   Then I go through the list and use an online coupon database to match up coupons with the sale items I plan to buy.  Finally, I gather up all my coupons and figure out how to group my items to get the best bang for my buck (basically I figure out if I need to divide up my purchase into separate transactions).   Usually, I spend about 20 minutes at a time working on this, but if I did it all in one sitting without interruption, I think it would be about an hour's worth of preparation.

This week, I divided my purchase up into 4 transactions in order to maximize my savings.  I went to CVS at about 10am, so it was not busy and I told the cashier what I was doing and asked her if it would be okay.  She was very nice and helpful, so we got my checkout finished in just a few minutes and no one had to wait behind me. 

Here's what I got:

In my first transaction, I picked up the two items that were on sale and free after you received your Extra Care Bucks.  The contact solution was on sale for $7.99 and I received $7.99 in ECBs.  The Balance bar was $1.69 and I received $1.69 in ECBs.  I used $8.79 in ECBs from previous shopping trips so my total out of pocket for this purchase was 95 cents.

Summary: $9.68 total - $8.79 ECBs = 89 cents plus tax (95 cents total)

The second transaction included 2 Garnier moisturizing products and a pack of razor cartridges.  The Garnier products were $12 and $5, so I earned $5 ECBs due to the promotion they had going on.  I used two $2 off coupons for them as well.  The razor cartridges were on sale for $6.98 and I earned $3 in ECBs for them, and I also had a $3 off coupon to use.  I also applied $6 in ECBs from another shopping trip and the $9.68 in ECBs I just earned from my first transaction and paid $1.40 out of pocket.

Summary: $23.99 - $7 in coupons - $15.68 in ECBs =  $1.31 plus tax ($1.40 total)


My third transaction was just a box of diapers.  The deal on diapers this week was that they were marked down to $19.99 a box and you earn $5 in ECBs for the purchase.  I got on Pampers mailing list a while ago, so I get some high dollar coupons on occasion and I happened to have a $4 off a box of Pampers Cruisers coupon so I used that.  I also used the $8 in ECBs I just earned from my 2nd transaction and paid $8.54 out of pocket.

Summary: $19.99 - $4 coupon - $8 ECBs = $7.99 plus tax ($8.54 total)


My final transaction included 2 bottles of Purex detergent and 2 packages of Pup-Peroni dog treats.  The Purex was on sale for $2.99 each and the dog treats were 2 for $4.  The dog treats had a peel off sticker on each bag for $2 off, so I basically got those for free.  I used the $5 ECBs that I just earned from transaction 3 as well, and ended up paying just $1.05 out of pocket.

Summary: $9.98 - $4 in coupons - $5 ECBs = 98 cents plus tax ($1.05 total). 

To conclude, I went home with $63.64 in household items but only paid $11.94.  That is an 81% savings!

Photo Summary of Our Weekend Trip to Southern Indiana


Lots of Riding in the Car


Great Shopping Deals

I know I said a few posts back that I would chronicle my recent epic shopping trip because I got some great deals by combining some coupons with sales.  Then I never got around to it.  I have since had some more successful shopping trips, so here is the quick and dirty on some of the awesome savings I have been able to accomplish of late. 

 
At Price Chopper:

 
  • 2 free Oscar Mayer Deli Creations (they were on sale for 99 cents and I had two $1 off coupons)
  • 1 free box of Ronzoni Garden Delights pasta (was on sale for 99 cents with $1 off coupon)
  • Borden Singles Pepper Jack cheese for 89 cents ($1.89 on sale with $1 off coupon)
  • Farmland Hot Dogs for 13 cents (sale for 68 cents with 55 cents off coupon)

 
At HyVee:

 
  • Raspberries for $1.13 (sale for 1.68 with 55 cents off coupon)

 
At Target:

 
  • 1 Nivea Men's Body Wash for 4 cents (cost $3.04, had a $1 off Target coupon and a $2 off coupon)
  • 2 full size bottles and 2 half size bottles of Gillette Men's Body Wash  for 99 cents ($3.99 for each 2 pack with a B1G1 free coupon, a $2 off coupon, and a $1 off target coupon)
  • 2 Venus razors and 1 Gillette shave gel for 98 cents (bought 2 at $4.99 and used two $2 off coupons, a B1 Venus razor G1 free shave gel coupon, and got a $5 Target gift card for the purchase).
  • 1 box of Nexcare Strawberry Shortcake band aids for 31 cents ($1.86 with Target coupon for $1 off and a coupon for 55 cents off)
  •  Free bottle of KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce (sale for 99 cents with a $1 off coupon)
  • 1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce for 25 cents (sale for $1.25 with $1 off coupon)
  • 2 boxes of Hefty One-Zip bags (22 count) for $1.08 (cost $2.04 each, had 2 Target coupons for $1 off and one coupon for $1 when you buy 2)
  • 2 Gillette Fusion ProGlide razors for $6.78 (cost $9.89 each and I had 2 $4 off coupons and got a $5 Target gift card for the purchase of 2)
  • 2 Travel size Degree deodorants for free (cost was under $1 and I had $1 off coupons)
  • 2 bottles of Similac formula for 50 cents each (cost is about $5.50 and I had two $5 Similac checks)
  • I have gotten some other good deals on Nivea Men's Aftershave lotion, Pampers Diapers, Gerber baby food, among other things but I can't remember the specifics. 
At CVS:

  • 2 Schick Hydro razors for $1.38 (cost $8.99 with B1G1 free sale, used two $4 off coupons)
  • 2 bottles of Wisk detergent for $3.21 (cost 8.99 each with B1G1 free sale and two $2 off coupons, plus I used $2 in ECBs).
  • 1 box of Finish dish washing tabs 20 count for $1.99 (sale for $2.99 and I had $1 off coupon)
  • 1 bag of Hershey's Bliss chocolate for free (cost $5.99--I had $1 off coupon and paid $4.99 but got $5.99 in ECBs for use on any other CVS purchase)
  • 1 box of Rephresh Tampons for free (cost $6.79, used $1 off coupon and paid $5.79 but got $6.79 in ECBs for use on any other CVS purchase)
  • 2 bottles of Pantene Shampoo for $2 and 2 Pantene Conditioners for $2 (on different weeks, took advantage of the 2 for $6.97 sale and used $3 off purchase of 2 coupon, then got $2 ECBs on the purchase)
Those are the most notable things I can think of that the moment.  I am finding a lot of success in getting normally expensive items like shampoo and razors for next to nothing but it takes some diligence and planning.

Unpleasant Afternoon Surprise

Most days of the week, I work 8am to 5pm and yesterday was one such day.  I usually like to take my lunch from 1 to 2, and that's what I did yesterday.  When I came back from lunch, I parked my car in a spot next to the sidewalk that runs on the north side of our building, amongst the other staff.  At about 5 o'clock, one of my coworkers came in from outside to tell me that someone had stolen my license plates.  What?!! Ugh!

Yes, in broad daylight, in the middle of a parking lot that sees a fair amount of traffic, someone took both my front and rear license plates and the screws that bolted them onto my car.  They left my Missouri Tigers license plate holder on the ground behind my car, so I can only assume the thieves were Kansas Jayhawk fans, which only increases my ire towards them.  Luckily there was nothing else missing and no damage to my car. 

So, instead of heading to daycare to get Eva and head home for the night, I spent an hour waiting for the police to come to my work to take the report.  I had planned on going for a run last night, but I couldn't help but feel out of sorts and a bit paranoid since becoming the victim of a crime.  Of course, no physical harm was inflicted and Kyle pointed out that it is highly unlikely that I was specifically targeted--someone just simply needed some plates and decided to take mine.  Nonetheless, I decided that after getting Eva off to bed and dinner cleaned up, I would relax and do nothing.

This morning I went down to the DMV and got new plates.  I bought some anti-theft license plate screws too--I figured the next criminal might think twice about taking my plates if they are going to have to work very hard to get them. 

I emailed the district manager to find out if we could pull security footage of the parking lot from yesterday to try to figure out when this happened and identify who did it only to find out that the outdoor security camera runs from 10pm to 10am only and the tree that's in front of it is partially blocking the camera's view of the lot.  Good to know.  Glad we have that there. Ha! (Apparently both of these issues are going to be rectified by the way). 

So, now I have new plates and an even more intense distrust of anyone I don't know.  What a hassle!!

Father's Day Weekend

We had a really nice Father's Day weekend around our house.  I asked Kyle if it was the best Father's Day he'd ever had and he said yes, so I call it SUCCESS!

On Friday night, we went out to eat at the mexican place down the street.  We loaded Eva up in her stroller and walked down, and sat out on the patio for our meal.  When we got home, we put Eva to bed and played Rock Band for a while.  We hadn't played in a while, but it was loads of fun.  I also finished the Tina Fey book before bed.

Saturday morning, I actually had to run up to work to let everyone in.  The power had gone out during a bad storm overnight, so the security system wasn't reading anyone's keycard.  I got the call around 8am and ran up there, let everyone in, figured out the power and computer situation, then headed home around 9.  Kyle and Eva were up when I got back so we had breakfast and walked down to the local farmer's market to get a couple of things.  Later, Kyle went to hit some golf balls at the driving range while Eva and I went to Price Chopper to get some groceries. 

Then we took Eva to the pool for her first swim.  The water was kind of cool, so she didn't want to get in too deep, but she seemed to really enjoy kicking and splashing in the water and watching the other kids play.  She took about an hour nap, first on me, then on my lounge chair next to me in the middle of our pool visit.  But when she awoke, she was ready for more splashing.

After showering, we went to a Corks and Canvas wine and art walk in our little downtown area (we live in a suburb of Kansas City and our small downtown area is trying to revitalize).  While it was a nice little excursion with some interesting art to look at, Kyle and I decided they needed more "cork" than what was available and we both wished there was some food vendors.  We stayed for about 30 minutes and then went home to grill some brats for supper and relax.

Sunday morning, Eva presented Kyle with the card I made for him on her behalf using an online stationary site called Tiny Prints .  It featured a cute little Father's Day poem and 3 of Eva's most recent photos.  I made Kyle some eggs and bacon for breakfast and he went to golf 9 holes while Eva stayed home with me and napped.  When he got back, I went for a very hot and humid 5.5 mile run.  It was a good run, but I had to walk a bit of the last mile due to the heat.  I should have gone earlier in the day, but I enjoyed our semi-lazy morning so the run got done when it got done. 

In the afternoon, we went down the Country Club Plaza to Blanc Burgers + Bottles and shared a delicious pepper crusted burger and black truffle fries.  SO GOOD!!!  Then we went home, called our Dads, and relaxed for the rest of the night.

Kyle wants a smoker for his Father's Day gift.  Unfortunately, we don't have the cash flow for that at the moment, so he is patiently waiting a month or so until we can afford to buy one.  I know he can't wait to get some ribs and brisket going on it!

So that was my busy but fun weekend.  I think this weekend we'll focus on some projects around the house that we have been putting off and I hope to get a couple more runs of 5 miles or more in as well.  We'll see!!

A Blog I Wrote For Work

I am a librarian, so I sometimes write blogs for our library branch's web site.  I don't think anyone outside of the library system reads these, but that's mostly because this is kind of a new thing for us.  We as a library haven't truly established ourselves online the way some other systems have, but we are working on it. 

I wrote this particular blog to promote our Summer Reading Program and couldn't miss the opportunity to show off my daughter!  I had hoped that the blog would be cute enough to get picked up on the library's main home page, but alas, it did not. 

Nonetheless, here it is for your enjoyment!

Eva's Blog

Sporadic Posting

To the few of you that do read my blog, I apologize for the sporadic posting.  Blogging is not a habit for me yet, and I often find that when I have free time, I am not thinking about sitting down to write a blog.  I am even behind on reading the blogs I subscribe to.

I do have all kinds of blog ideas though.  I usually think of them when I am running or when I go to bed at night or when I am in the shower--all times that I can't whip out the computer to write an entry.

So, since it has been a while since my last post, you get to read another blog entry that gives a basic rundown of what's going on in my life at the moment, as opposed to an entry focused on one particular topic. 

1) I am currently reading Bossypants by Tina Fey and it is hilarious!  If you like the show 30 Rock, then you like Tina Fey's humor and you will definitely like this book.  It is a biography that gives a general overview on Tina's life and how she got into comedy writing and acting as well as some general thoughts on women and how they are viewed by themselves and others in today's day and age.  Just about all of it is conveyed with humor though, and I usually end up laughing out loud, sometimes with tears rolling down my cheeks when something strikes me particularly funny.  Tina Fey is not one to take herself too seriously.

2) I have been doing some very smart couponing of late and have had a couple of great shopping trips I'd like to share with you in a separate entry.  I am focusing my efforts on toiletry type items that tend to be very expensive like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and razors, but am keeping my eyes open for food deals as well.  Kyle and I tend to spend most of our grocery money on fresh produce, meat, and dairy products, so there is little use for many of the food coupons I get in the Sunday inserts most of the time.  Seems like many of the food coupons are for boxed or frozen meals, and other highly processed foods and those are all things we are trying to keep to a minimum in our household. 

3) I didn't run at all last week.  I didn't work out at all actually.  I just chose not to devote any time to exercise last week so I look at it as an exercise vacation.  I got back in the saddle on Sunday morning with the 30 Day Shred workout video (which my arms are still sore from--Thanks Jillian!) and then I ran a pretty fast 3 miles on Monday night.  I didn't get my timer started until about 3 minutes into the run, but the part of the run that I did record on the Garmin showed I was running sub-10 minute miles.  9:54 and 9:50 I believe.  I felt pretty good at that pace, though I could tell I was running a bit faster than an easy pace.  If I had been running father than 3 miles that night, I think I would have slowed down a bit and probably been putting out 10 minute, 15 second miles.   It also helped that the night was cool and the humidity wasn't stifling.  I took yesterday as a rest day and plan to  hit the pavement again tonight after Eva goes to bed.  I am thinking a 3 or 4 miler, depending upon how late I get started.  I like to get back home before it gets completely dark. 

4) Kyle got a new job!  He will start in July doing essentially the same work he does now but for a different company.  He will make a little bit more money but the main reason for the job change is the potential for bonuses, raises, and promotions.  His current position has been frozen in limbo with no real opportunity for any of those things for about 3 years now.  It was definitely time for a change and I think he is excited.

5) Eva is doing well.  She is taking to solids a lot better now and I am down to nursing just about 3 or 4 times a day.  Usually once around 5 am and again at 7am (right before she goes to daycare).  I don't pump at all at work, so I usually nurse her again around 6pm and then I try to top her off before bed at 8.  My milk production has really been reduced though, so I know she isn't getting much milk at the 7am and 8pm feedings-- I am thinking about dropping both of those nursing sessions and just giving her a formula bottle at 8pm before bed.  She is having solids at breakfast, lunch, and dinner now with a snack in the afternoons and about 3 bottles over the course of the day while at daycare.  I do nurse her more often on the weekends, since we are together during that time.  I wonder if I should taper those feedings off as well? 

That's the short and sweet of it.  I'll try to get some pix up and my entry about my coupon shopping up soon.

MIA

I know I have been MIA for a little while.  My little sister got married in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia this past weekend, so I spent the last week or so making lists, doing last minute shopping, and mentally psyching myself up for taking Eva on her first long distance trip which included her first ever plane ride. 


Eva in Daddy's lap on the plane

She did great on the plane, the wedding was beautiful, and we had a nice time visiting with family and spending time in such a beautiful place. 


Our cabin


My father walking my sister "down the aisle."


The ceremony in the wedding field.  It was gorgeous!

Kyle and I at the reception.
Eva and I at the reception.
We got home on Sunday evening, so we decided to just cook out some burgers and brats in our backyard for our Memorial Day celebration.  We have a kiddie pool that we've had for years now (I bought it originally thinking our dog Napoleon would like it but surprise! He doesn't like to swim).  So, we pulled out the pool, put some water in and got Eva all dolled up in her swimsuit and hat for some playtime in the water.  She loved it!





Now we are back to the daily grind.

I didn't get to do any running while away, but I did spend a lot of time hiking around the grounds of the resort farm (Montfair) where we stayed and where the wedding was held.



Monday morning, I did a 4-miler with the jogging stroller and last night I went on a quick 3-miler after Eva went to bed.  I was planning on doing some interval training tonight after Eva goes to sleep but I think we have some rain and thunderstorms moving in, so it will either be a rest day or a Zumba workout for me later on.

So that's the haps with me.  I plan to update more often now that I have this big event under my belt.

Thoughts about Weaning and Formula and a 4 miler

I have been nursing Eva since she was born--over 6 months now!  My original goal was to breastfeed her until she was 6 months old and then I would start weaning.  I have been back at work for over 3 months, and I have dutifully pumped anywhere from 2-4 times a day in order to keep Eva in breastmilk while I am working. 

I am so sick of pumping!

For now, I don't mind continuing to nurse in the evenings and on weekends, but I am just so tired of having to lug the pump around with me all the time and I hate using up all my breaks to pump.  About a month ago, we started introducing a bottle of formula here and there.  At first, Eva wouldn't take it but eventually she accepted it, though she often wouldn't finish a whole bottle of formula like she would a bottle of breastmilk.  Once I knew she'd drink the formula, I phased out one pumping session with the intent on phasing out another in a week or two.  However, after being on formula for about 2 weeks, Eva began to develop a rash on her belly and as time went on, it got darker and spread around to her back. 

It didn't seem to bother her, but I didn't want it to get worse to where it might eventually start to become itchy.  We took her completely off of formula and I went back to my original pumping routine in order to get her back on exclusively breastmilk.  It only took about a week for the rash to begin to improve.

I then tried a different brand of formula, only to have the rash darken again.  I figured Eva must be allergic to the protein in the milk-based formulas, so last week we bought some soy-based formula.  Once Eva's rash completely cleared up, we started giving her a little bit of soy formula here and there.  Because she's been sick and teething, she hasn't had much of an appetite and hasn't drank much formula at all, but yesterday I noticed the rash coming back.

I am pretty sure that the rash is a reaction to formula, but am unsure about what kind of formula to give her that will not give her a rash.  I asked the pediatrician about this during one of her visits while she was sick and basically got a handout about eczema which didn't really tell me much. 

So at this point, I am back to pumping twice a day at work and nursing while at home.  I feel like a pack mule everyday lugging my purse, my bookbag (cause I am a librarian you know), my cooler, and my breastpump to and from work every day.  The days that I have to take Eva to daycare or pick her up are major ordeals with all the crap I have to pack up and cart around.  I am ready to cut out the pump but am just so hesitant to do so until I find a formula that I feel Eva will drink and that will not give her a reaction.

While I am very pleased that I was able to breastfeed for so long, I met my goal and am losing my drive to continue too much longer with nursing.  I feel that Eva is getting to the point where her preference is the breast and she is starting to shun solids and bottles sometimes, it seems, in favor of the breast.  Does this happen?  Maybe the teething is causing the apparent preference for the breast, which is more comforting. 

So there's that.

Also, yesterday after work the weather was glorious and pretty, so I went out on a 4 miler.  I wanted to try to push myself a little this time, so after the 1st mile which was about 11:30 min/mile I ramped it up a bit and hit 10:10 min on the 2nd mile.  I felt a bit tired after that, so I slowed back down and finished the last 2 miles of the run at an average of 10:40 min/mile.  I really tried to pay attention to my form and my breathing this time since my goal is to get faster. 

When I started running again after pregnancy, I felt like I was dragging myself along.  Most runs were done on autopilot where I felt slow, I know I looked slow, and the numbers on the Garmin revealed I was in fact going slow.  Now that more time has elapsed since I a) had the baby and b) was pushing myself to run long trying to train for the half marathon, I feel like I have more energy to put into pushing my pace.  Running shorter distances more often is going to give me the chance to speed up and get used to the feeling of running faster again.  In a week or so, I plan to incorporate some speed training (intervals and tempo runs) once a week.  My goal is to make a 9 minute mile my normal, medium effort running pace.  I don't have a deadline for it, so let's see how long that takes!

Sunday 3 Miler

Yesterday, I finally felt like a human being again and despite a little bit of head congestion issues, I decided to get back in the saddle and go for a run.  Of course, the weather while I was sick was beautiful, sunny, and warm and now that I feel better, it is cooler and cloudier.  Oh well, thems the breaks.

I planned to do 3 miles on a tried and true, straightforward route in my neighborhood.  I had no desire to push it, I just wanted to get out there for a decent run.  I maintained a steady pace of approximately 11:25 minute miles and came home pretty happy with myself for getting out there. 

I can't wait to put in some more miles this week.  My goal is to work back up to an average of 20 to 25 miles a week.  That was what I used to run before I got pregnant and I think my speed will improve if I can get back in the habit of putting that amount of mileage.

It is safe to say that Eva and I are both out of the woods and finally feeling 100% better.  Kyle on the other hand...well he's still dealing with some sinus pressure and congestion.  He usually has seasonal allergy issues though, and I think that it hindering his progress.  I know he is tired of being sick, so I hope he feels better soon.

The Plague of 2011

The Plague of 2011 has swept through our household taking me, Kyle, and Eva down with fevers, congestion, coughing, sore throat, general lethargy and discomfort, and even pink eye! 

Whatever bug that Eva picked up at daycare spread to me on Wednesday and to Kyle on Friday.  Even our neighbor/backup sitter Angie fell ill from just 2 days of watching Eva last week. 

Eva has been to the doctor 3 times now.  The first time was last Tuesday and we were told that she just had a virus that needed to run its course.  Then on Friday, I took her back due to what looked like pink eye in both eyes.  She did have an eye infection AND the croup, which I hadn't noticed was a problem because I didn't recognize the cough.  Thankfully the nurses and doctor caught it while we were there to have her eyes checked.  She went again today because she has finished her medication for the cough but still has the cough.  Turns out, now it looks like she has the makings of an ear infection so she is now on anti-biotics.  She seems to feel fine for the most part and she hasn't really had any fevers the past few days, but she certainly hasn't been herself and have been overly fussy.  Some of that I attribute to teething though.

As for me and Kyle, I am finally starting to feel a little more human today, but Kyle is going to the doctor.  We have had some wicked congestion and sinus pressure the past 3 or 4 days.  I woke up today with noticeably less pressure so I think I'll 100% in a few days.  Kyle has had the congestion spread into his chest though, so he's still feeling pretty lousy and thought it best to see a doctor.

I sure will be glad when we are all feeling better.  The weather is turning so nice and I can't wait to get outside to enjoy it.  I am ready to get back into a running routine as well.  It's such a shame to have a gorgeous warm,sunny day happening outside when you feel terrible and can do nothing but lay around and mope inside.

I am back!

Things have been super busy for me the past week or so. 

Last week was Eva's first week in daycare and it went well over all.  However, it has taken some adjustment to get used to the new schedule of having to get Eva ready for the day in addition to ourselves and get her to daycare and us to work on time each day.  I got a haircut on Tuesday that I noticed seemed a little lopsided on Thursday and had to run to the hairdresser to get it fixed on Friday after work.  Also, my check engine light came on in my car and I had to get that checked out too (seems to just be a false alarm--got it reset).  Kyle had a big audit at work and he had to take Napoleon (our oldest Min-Pin) to the vet a couple of times for a check up and a teeth cleaning.

My trip to Chicago was Saturday and of course, I didn't pack anything early, so I spent the rest of Friday night after Eva went to bed getting myself packed for the trip.  I realized that I really need to do a major clean out of my closet as I have a lot of clothes that I have had for years and never wear.  I am tired of packing them up and then bringing them out every season just to let them sit. 

Saturday morning I flew to Chicago to meet up with my sister and the other ladies who are attendants in her wedding that will be at the end of this month for some bachelorette festivities.  I have never been to Chi-town before and I really liked it.  I definitely want to go back and do some sightseeing.

I am the only one of our group that flew into Midway so I took the train ALL BY MYSELF to meet up with them at our hotel in downtown Chicago.  Even though I missed at stop and had to go back the other direction on a different train at one point, I am pretty proud of myself for navigating mass transit in a new city all alone.  Kansas City doesn't have a train system, so I have little experience with it other than when I have been with others visiting different cities. 

Our hotel was very nice and we spent the day eating and shopping, relaxing, and ended the night at Howl at the Moon so my sister could get a proper bachelorette shout out.  Our companion was Sexy Steve and I am pretty sure that the party wouldn't have been the same without him!

The lovely ladies participating in the bachelorette weekend

Sexy Steve

Me and my little sister


Unfortunately, Eva ended up getting sick and coming down with a fever on Saturday night, while I was out of town.  This wasn't a huge surprise, seeing as she just completed her first week in daycare but I was still a little upset that I wasn't at home to take care of her.  Kyle did a great job though and even though she was still sick when I got back home on Sunday afternoon, she was in one piece and all smiles so I told him he was allowed to watch her again in my absence...that is if I ever left her again which is debatable!

I didn't get back to KC as early as I planned because of a 3 hour flight delay in Chicago.  With Eva sick, I stayed home with her during the day on Monday and only went into work a few hours in the evening once Kyle got home.  Yesterday, she was still spiking a fever and seemed to be worse with a running nose and cough, so I called the dr's office to see if it was necessary to bring her in.  The nurse suggested we have her checked out, so Kyle and I took off work early to take her to the doctor.  We had to wait over an hour for the doctor only to be told that it was a viral infection and would need to run its course.  After the doctor's office, we got groceries (we hadn't been the grocery store in 2 weeks) and came home and had dinner.  Once we got Eva to sleep, we got a little bit of housework done (as that hasn't been done in about 2 weeks either.  And barely any laundry for that matter).  Then it was time for bed!  No rest for the weary.

I kept Eva home again today (thank goodness our neighbor Angie is willing and available to watch Eva this week) and I hope that she's feeling good enough to go to daycare tomorrow.  It sucks that we have to pay for this whole week of daycare and she hasn't even been once!  I am off on Friday but I may take Eva up there for the morning in order to get some things done around the house and go on a run.

Because yeah, with all this stuff going on, I haven't been on a run in nearly a week. 

So that's my life this past week in a nutshell.  Hectic, busy, and stressful.  I hope next week and boring and uneventful!

Update: I was all ready to post this blog yesterday but ended up coming down with Eva's crud so I am home sick today :(

What Eva Wore to Her First Day of "School"

Hello

How's the Running Going?

You may be wondering why I haven't blogged much about running lately.  Well, I haven't been running.  Not much anyway. 

After completing the half a few weeks ago, I have felt relieved not to be bound (and guilted) by a training schedule.  I took the entire week following the race off to regroup and readjust my mental approach to running.  I still like to use a training program to help guide my runs and workouts for the week, so I figured I'd look into a 5K training plan that includes some speedwork with weekly long runs that average no more than about 7 or 8 miles.  Not having any races upcoming though has kept me from really sticking to a regular workout routine, running or otherwise.

So the second week after my race, I got out there for a couple of 3 or 4 milers and did the 30 Day Shred video once.

Last week I did Zumba once and...nothing else.  I had good intentions for getting a run in but it just never happened.

I am half tempted to sign up for another race just to motivate myself to get out there and do the miles.  But, at the same time, I'd really just rather find the motivation from within because I still need to work on getting back to my pre-baby fitness level and I don't think signing up for another race is really going to accomplish that.  A steady, consistent workout plan will.

It's not really fair to blame my laziness on the weather, but I will anyway because, hey its almost May for Pete's sake and I'd like some sunshine and 60-70 degree temps please!  The month of April, while there have been some really nice days, has felt more like March and I am sooooo tired of overcast, windy 50 degree days and rain.  Sooooo tired of it!

Ironically, I finally lost all 42 lbs of my baby weight and am back to my pre-baby weight.  Now I just have to lose that 10 lbs I was wanting to get rid of before I got pregnant.  Ha!

First Day of Daycare

Well, today is Eva's first day at daycare and it has not been quite as hard on me as I had feared.  At least, dropping her off today went fine. 

Since I go in at noon today, I planned to take Eva up there around 11am so I had time to get her stuff put up and stay for a little bit to help her adjust.  I was running late though because I was trying to get her to take a nap and she was fighting it (something that she has really gotten into of late) and so it took me a while to get her settled.  She ended up sleeping for all of about 10 minutes, if that.

Anyway, once I got there and unloaded the rest of her supplies, I pulled her out of her car seat carrier and held her while she surveyed the room.  All of the other babies were playing in various parts of the room as Alvin and the Chipmunks sang their rendition of some Top 40 song from a few years ago in the background.  At first she didn't want me to put her down, but intense interest in another 6 month old girl in a bouncy seat made her decide that it would probably be okay if I put her down as long as I sat close.

One of the teachers brought over a toy, and Eva was interested, but shy and she turned her head into my arm and leaned toward me like she wanted me to pick her back up.  Instead of picking her up though, I just put my arm around her and took the toy, holding it up so she could examine it further.  She took the toy from me and pretty much forgot about me after that!

I sat on the floor nearby while she worked her way across the play mat, grabbing toys and interacting with a couple of the other babies.  It's a good thing Eva doesn't have much hair because there is a little 9 month old baby there that was grabbing at her head while she pushed herself towards a rubber block toy.

After about 20 minutes, I was satisfied that Eva was enjoying herself and probably wouldn't have even noticed if I left.  I gave her a quick kiss on the head and loaded up my things to leave.  As I walked out and closed the door behind me, I looked back through the door glass to see what Eva's reaction was.  She had seen me leave, but seemed to be fine, as one of the teachers had noticed she had lost one of her socks, and picked her up into her lap to put it back on for her.

So, that was that.  I headed into work with nary a tear and I am anxiously hoping that when I go to pick her up here in 30 minutes, I find a happy little girl who is as excited to see her Mommy as her Mommy is to see her!

Tuesday picture post

Sleepy baby butt.